This New Combustion Technology Might Help Us Breathe Easier


Unburned hydrocarbon flame soot is the second-largest cause of global warming and is hazardous to human health. Researchers have created modern high-speed imaging techniques to examine turbulent flames; however, they are only capable of photographing at a million frames per second. Thus, physicists are eager to use single-pulse imaging to get a complete view of flame-laser interactions.

Yogeshwar Nath Mishra, who hails from Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, is currently part of a NASA and Caltech team that created the fastest laser sheet imaging technique in the world, which helps analyze nanoparticles in flames. Even as a young child, Mishra was fascinated by science. The late APJ Abdul Kalam, an aerospace scientist and our former Indian president had a significant impact on him.

The work of Mishra has the potential to radically transform our understanding of combustion. Regular cameras can take photographs at a rate of 30 frames per second. 12.5 billion frames per second have been attained. The investigations work on laser sheet imaging, which differs from previous systems that only project images that arrive in the line of sight via a laser beam, limiting the region. In essence, it provides two-dimensional data about a plane.

Ultra-Fast Imaging for More Use-Cases
The researchers used a light sheet to cut through a three-dimensional object to reveal details on a specific location. According to Mishra, the fastest camera for planar imaging is the result of the innovation. For similar imagery, the highest frame rate for modern ultra-fast cameras is one million frames per second. The most recent invention by the team combines compressed sensing technologies with streak cameras.

Light can only be seen coming from and going in one direction; it is difficult to see it moving in real-time. But you can observe light in action with this camera, essentially how the light moves through a substance or medium. And the 12.5 billion frames per second capabilities make it all feasible. Mishra, whose research focuses on light-matter interaction, laser spectroscopy, and sustainable technologies, thinks that studies on combustion can benefit greatly from the new imaging technique. The researcher claims that the process of burning results in the creation of several chemical species from hydrocarbons. Like how firing a rocket or flying an airplane causes the combustion of hydrocarbons, understanding the phenomenon is crucial.

Course Correction for Global Warming
This incredibly complex process involves several facets of fluid dynamics, chemistry, and physics. It is crucial to comprehend it better, as it might help us improve engine performance. The scientist also mentioned that burning gasoline produces soot. A number of health hazards can arise from soot produced in nanoparticles once it enters the bloodstream. Moreover, it contributes to global warming.

The largest obstacle to growing scientists in India today is the need for proper finance. More Ph.D. scholars need to be given scholarships to pursue research abroad, much like China and other countries do

Mishra claims that this soot travels to glaciers and other places where ice forms a coating. Because soot tends to retain sunlight and increase temperatures, glaciers.

Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), which are nanoparticles that form just before soot, are the precursors to the soot-creation process. Hence, we can track how PAHs are responsible for creating soot particles thanks to this new technology's ultra-fast imaging. The creation lasts for only a few nanoseconds or sub-nanoseconds; hence ultra-fast imaging is required. Labs and research institutes easily adopted the most recent technology since it was significantly less expensive than the previous imaging systems.

Need of Researchers in the Country
After being filled with joy with his accomplishments, Mishra resented the lack of praise at home. Even though India has given the world some of the best scientists, young people are losing interest in science as a career. Mishra claimed that while studying at Lund University in Sweden, there were research fellows from China and only one Indian scientist.

The largest obstacle to growing scientists in India today is the need for proper finance. More Ph.D. scholars need to be given scholarships to pursue research abroad, much like China and other countries do.

Mishra asserts that the mindset is more important. Some excellent youngsters who excel in math and physics will ultimately be convinced by their parents to settle for high-paying IT professions. But the path from a master's to a Ph.D. in science is arduous, and there are no shortcuts. In India, most parents pay significant educational expenses; thus, it makes sense that young people would gravitate towards employment with high salaries.

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